50 Greatest Modified Drivers – Mike McLaughlin
Mike McLaughlin is one of the most diversified and successful drivers in the nation. Voted by the fans as one of the 50 Greatest Modified Drivers of All-Time, McLaughlin was a regular in the modified division during the mid 1980’s. Driving first for Len Boehler and then for Billy Corazzo, McLoughlin established himself as a front runner, not only at Stafford, but at every track the NASCAR Modifieds raced at. During his tenure at Stafford, McLaughlin recorded 4 weekly modified feature wins, 1 NASCAR Modified Tour win, and 1 NASCAR Busch North Series win.
A native of Waterloo, NY, McLaughlin began his racing career in the late 1970’s in the rough and tumble D.I.R.T. circuit in upstate New York where he was an instant success. From the D.I.R.T. circuit he moved his racing efforts to the SuperModifieds at Oswego. It was at Oswego where the late Richie Evans convinced him that the road to the “big-time” in NASCAR would start with the Modifieds. Teaming up with New York car owner Norm Foster, McLaughlin started traveling to New England and points south. He won his share of features, including a 250-lap event at Martinsville. When NASCAR formed the Modified Tour in the mid 1980’s, McLaughlin teamed up with Len Boehler and then with Bill Corazzo. From mid-1986 through 1993, McLaughlin recorded 16 Modified Tour wins. His modified success, which includes the Tour championship in 1987, opened doors in the Busch North Series, which in turn opened doors in the Xfinity Series. In Busch North competition, McLaughlin recorded 7 wins and finished 3rd in the 1993 points standings.
From 1994-2004, McLaughlin raced primarily in the Xfinity Series and became a top driver. When Brett Bodine went into NASCAR Cup racing, an offer came from Frank Cicci Racing. McLaughlin took the offer and became a top contender.
Always popular with the fans, he was awarded Most Popular Modified Driver in 1985, Most Popular Busch North Driver in 1992 and 1993, and in 1997 was voted Most Popular Xfinity Series driver.